Imaginative Practices and Measure: Re-Presenting the Danish Welfare Landscape as Common Ground

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch

The Welfare State in Denmark, as established during a great surge of post-war technological developments, was firmly rooted in a time motivated by Modernist ideas of rationalization and regulation. The dreams and desires of establishing the Functionist City resulted in architectural and landscape projects being dictated by notions of objective truth. Motivated by the new industrial efficiency, social-housing projects became an experiment of standardization, fabricated from factual analysis and modern measure.
It is the position of this paper that the notion of ‘the good life’ that the Modernist period strived for resulted in housing estates that were merely an assemblage of material and visual data, devoid of all that ensues from human experiences and lived-in perception. Driven by practices of analysis and calculated conventions of Cartesian order, the Danish Welfare Estates became a tool for self-promotion and an output of universal desire. What is depicted though the various archival material documenting their designs, portrays a scenario of a closed and stabilized world immune to the temporalities of reality embedded in experience. The projects are masked by a representational order and mediated by modern measure, leaving little room for interpretive and perceptual freedom. Derived from an attempt to hold the world still in hopes of autonomy and control, the Welfare sites struggle to remain relevant today.
Thereby, this paper focuses on the landscapes of the Danish Welfare State projects as a potential medium for revealing the presence of spatial temporalities derived from traditional (experience-centred) measuring of the sites. The project aims to reveal the ever-unfolding temporal and immaterial aspects of the housing estates through experiments of making which combine that which was originally derived from modern measure (archival material) with a newly situated and relational reading of the landscape. Though re-presenting landscape as a constructed milieu, derived equally from material and contingent immaterial experiences of the being-in-the-world, the ambition is to construct a common ground for future acts of collective re-imagining. By exploring landscape as a medium, both permanently present yet always transient, the hope is to establish the Welfare Estates as part of a poetic process of continual becoming, promoting future possibilities built upon dynamics, openness, multiplicity and imagination.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventCommon Ground: - Design and Research in Architecture and Landscape - Leibniz Universität, Hannover, Germany
Duration: 4 May 20176 May 2017
Conference number: 7

Conference

ConferenceCommon Ground: - Design and Research in Architecture and Landscape
Number7
LocationLeibniz Universität
CountryGermany
CityHannover
Period04/05/201706/05/2017

    Research areas

  • ???Landskabsarkitektur??? - common ground, measure, respresentation, welfare landscapes, interpretation and experience

ID: 185270614